Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/777

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759
MAN'S RIGHT OVER ANIMALS.

too much stress upon the opinions of even such distinguished workers as these. Men who devote their lives to investigation cultivate a love of truth for its own sake, and endeavor instinctively to clear up, and not, as is too often the object in business and politics, to obscure a difficult question. So far the opinion of a scientific worker may-have a special value; but I do not think that he has a claim, superior to that of other educated men, to assume the attitude of a prophet. In his heart he knows that underneath the theories that he constructs there lie contradictions which he can not reconcile. The higher mysteries of being, if penetrable at all by human intellect, require other weapons than those of calculation and experiment.

Without encroaching upon grounds appertaining to the theologian and the philosopher, the domain of natural science is surely broad enough to satisfy the wildest ambition of its devotees. In other departments of human life and interest, true progress is rather an article of faith than a rational belief; but in science a retrograde movement is, from the nature of the case, almost impossible. Increasing knowledge brings with it increasing power, and, great as are the triumphs of the present century, we may well believe that they are but a foretaste of what discovery and invention have yet in store for mankind. Encouraged by the thought that our labors can not be thrown away, let us redouble our efforts in the noble struggle. In the Old World and in the New, recruits must be enlisted to fill the place of those whose work is done. Happy should I be if, through this visit of the Association, or by any words of mine, a larger measure of the youthful activity of the West could be drawn into this service. The work may be hard, and the discipline severe; but the interest never fails, and great is the privilege of achievement.

 
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MAN'S RIGHT OVER ANIMALS.
By CHARLES RICHET.

THERE is no such impassable gap between man and the animals that they can not be considered brothers in creation, and therefore liable to certain reciprocal obligations. As it is our duty to be just and sympathetic toward men, it is equally our duty not to be wicked or cruel toward animals. Whoever believes that he has a right to cause death or suffering to innocent beasts for his own pleasure is unworthy to be called a man. This precept is, however, limited by the consideration of what is useful to us. A dangerous or noxious animal may be destroyed without pity; for, whatever may be our duties toward the animal, our duties toward man are greater. Thus, no one would think of having any mercy on the phylloxera, the